21 Jan “Please Don’t Punish Yourself” by Danielle LaPorte
21 days into January; three weeks into a brand new year; what are you feeling? What have you been doing, and how did you get to this point?
“Please don’t punish yourself”.
It’s hard enough to make your way in a world where you will be judged, daily. To overcome the intentional punishments inflicted by dark mongers; to find the right concoction for emotional wounds; and to rise from the simply deep heartache of not getting what you want — it’s anything but easy. It’s gruelling enough to be betrayed when you have been over-loyal; to feel like an imposter at the pretty party; to be seemingly alone in your looping fixations (you’re never alone); to feel like the star ship flew off and orphaned you in a cabbage patch of zygotes to be adopted by humans who can’t understand you. This stuff of earth, you know, it’s a lot of things, but it’s anything but easy.
Have I painted the picture? How heavy this trip can be? Good. Then why would you wittingly make it harder on yourself?
PLEASE DON’T PUNISH YOURSELF.
Not with deprivation diets.
Not with constant self-improvement.
Not with guilt trips, or following plans that are so tight you can hardly exhale.
Not with self-talk that is less than all-loving (I’m so dumb, so stupid, so needy, I could have, I should have…). Every word, punishing you.
Setting up consequences if you fail… Only rewarding yourself if you succeed — these can be veiled punishments, often in the name of motivation, obligation, and endurance. We even punish ourselves in the name of enlightenment — and that is so cosmically fucked up.
What do you learn from punishment? Actually, it doesn’t matter much, because any lesson possibly garnered from punishment is so barbed with pain it takes years to see the learning — let alone appreciate it. Forget it.
Punishment has a direct opposite — so wildly oppositional that it’s irresistible, if you dare…
Pleasure makes all of the (seemingly) unavoidable hardships of just.being.here. so much easier.
Your pleasure empowers you.
After years of being hard on ourselves and staying stuck in karmic cycles, pleasure-making is courageous.
So when you’re going through hell, find whatever might be luxurious at the time — a day alone, an abrupt departure, therapy, art, being witnessed in a guilt-free rant, rest.
Reward yourself for failing — with comfort, with what you planned to do if you won.
Look at yourself and say, “All is forgiven.” Forgive yourself for quitting, for asking someone to do something that you knew was impossible, for taking more than your share. You’re learning. You learned. Integrate your hard lesson with pleasure.
Stop rewarding yourself “if…”
Reward yourself because you’re here.
You showed up to master light.
You showed up to know pleasure”.